Disgrace

Disgrace

by J. M. Coetzee
4.0 52

Hardcover

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Disgrace 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
J.M. Coetzee's 'Disgrace' is a complex and moving tale about a middle-aged professor who realizes that his best days are behind him. Like many men who go through a mid-life crisis, he tries to convince himself that he is still full of desire and passion and that women still find him desirable. 'Disgrace,' however, is about much more than a man who simply fears growing old. It is also a commentary on social relations between people: between men and women, father and daughter, races, cultures, lifestyles, and of the social structures in post apartheid South Africa. The novel's protagonist, David Lurie, goes on a journey to rediscover who he is and to find meaning in his life. What he discovers and doesn't discover about life is for the reader to figure out. 'Disgrace' is a very compelling and well-written novel by an author at the top of his form. Coetzee's characterizations and witty dialogue are, in particular, to be commended.
cheeriosLS More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading Disgrace and took it slow not wanting to miss a thing. Coetzee is a powerful writer who doesn't beat around the bush with long drawn out sentences. He writes with integrity and courage. The 220 pages were packed with grim truth and intelligent potency.
Whitegold More than 1 year ago
To those unfamiliar with South African writer J.M. Coetzee, DISGRACE is a powerful introduction to this Nobel Prize and two-time Booker Prize-winning author. In the best tradition of those writers who seem to chisel their words with great care -- in order to elicit the most meaning and effect -- Coetzee has fashioned a modern gem that challenges readers to explore themes and issues they might find disturbing and difficult to confront: sexuality, retribution, racial tensions, generational conflict, violence, human indifference, and profound shame. Amid all these strifes, at its core DISGRACE is about forgiveness -- a forgiveness that many Americans and other Westerners could find hard to understand. In the end, "disgraced" Professor David Lurie and his shareholding daughter are forced to confront their most basic and brutal personal tragedy in the larger context of an equally violent societal holocaust -- and somehow make their separate peace. DISGRACE is one of those books that lives with you long after the last page is turned, and in your hearts of hearts you know you must revisit again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I rarely ever quit reading a book halfway through, but I really couldn't keep on with this one. It was as though the author had two completely different stories to tell, but tried to make them connect in the same novel, and they didn't come together as planned.
camillecox More than 1 year ago
I’ve never desired a discussion on a book as much as with this one. The shiny gold Nobel Prize sticker grabbed me. I’d never heard of the book nor the author, but it was short and the title was beguiling. HOLY MOLEY – this book provoked my head! The story itself is a simple but intimate tale of one man’s experience that exposes much – the underlying violence of sexism, of racism, of elitism, as well as disgrace and reconciliation. It is set in South Africa’s political upheaval of the 90’s, but conceivably the events are timeless and placeless. Coetzee's writing style is surgically precise and his insights both harsh and tender. Did I love this book or not? Certainly the darkness was uncomfortable in ways. Yet, weeks since finishing it still haunts my mind, provoking questions about the nature of power and violence in society - and within us, and I enjoy that. In a word: penetrating.
InannaJ More than 1 year ago
easy to read, entertaining and intelligent . good for all readers of literature and also for adults (18+) who prefer something a little lighter. Younger readers might not relate to the characters. all around it was profound and beautiful in its simplicity, a huge accomplishment for any writer.
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Joan_Opiyo More than 1 year ago
David Lurie, is a middle-aged, twice-divorced Afrikaner Professor of Romantic poetry at the Technical University of Cape Town, grappling with the dawn of old age. Not quite yet ready to throw in the towel, he doggedly pursues a female student, with whom he has an affair that goes bad. After she files a complaint against him with the administration, he admits guilt but opts to resign rather than publicly repent. David then goes to spend some time with his daughter, Lucy, on her farm. But just as he is settling in and putting his life back together, he and Lucy are savagely attacked by three African youths. In this Booker Prize-winning classic, Nobel Literature Laureate Coetzee takes us on David's odyssey of self-realization, a journey he seemed to feel too old and a little too all-knowing, to take. As the world around him collapses, and a new post-Apartheid South Africa emerges, he realizes that the survival tools he has all along kitted himself with have now become obsolete and he has only one choice: to adapt or lose what he values most - his daughter. Voted in 2006 as "the greatest novel of the last 25 years", Disgrace is not a book you hurriedly skim over, as each of Coetzee's words is bold, potent and very deserving of the readers' attention that it commands. His exemplary craftsmanship, partly stems from the fact that he doesn't shy away from the full exploration of the emotional core and psyche of his characters, never once allowing his concern for the exterior to eclipse his attention to the interior by hiding underneath layers upon layers of descriptive detail, as some authors do. As a result, Coetzee has achieved a piercing elegance with Disgrace; one that raises the bar very high for all future novelists.
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MansonWCarroll More than 1 year ago
Reading this, I found the topic and content came second to the sheer skill of the author. The writer flowed so seamlessly that I was able to sit back and almost "watch" the plot play out. The words seem to come so easily to the characters and the writer described things so well. Often, I could really understand exactly how the character felt without it being described to me. In the writing, I could feel it.
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